WKKO-AM 860    
Cocoa     

Original Call Letters: WKKO

Originally Licensed: Jan. 4, 1952

Original City of License: Cocoa

Original Frequency: 860

Origin of Call Letters: Sounds like; KKO=Cocoa

Original Power: 1,000 watts daytime

Original Location: Burnett Road, south of State Road 520

Original Format: Block Programming


Network Affiliation(s):

United Press International
Mutual Broadcasting System

Owner(s):

1952-Brevard Broadcasting Company
1959-Marvin Rothschild
1970-Cocoa One Inc.
1975-Emcom Associates
1984-Dickson/Fry Broadcast Group, Inc.
1984-Fox Radio Inc.
1985-Capitol Broadcasting Co.
1988-Christian Radio Communications, Inc.
1992-Walker Broadcasting
1993-Brevard Broadcasting, Inc. ($90,000)
1998-WGUL FM, Inc. (Carl Marcocci) ($475,000)
2005-Bible Broadcasting Network ($250,000)

History Of  Call Letters and Formats:

WKKO-1952-Block Programming
WKKO-1981-MOR
WJZX-1984-Urban  "Fox 86"
WJZX-1985-Adult Contemporary 
WCKS-1986-Top 40  ''Brevard's No. 1 Hit Music Station'' 
WCKS-1986-'50s and '60s
WCKS-1987-Top 40
WCKS-1987-Silent
WWKO-1989-Urban Contemporary "KO 860 Knockin' Out The Hits" 
WRFB-1993-News/Talk   "Radio For Brevard"   
WRFB-1998-Nostalgia  
WRFB-2000-Silent (4-4-2000)
WRFB-2004-License Cancelled  (2-1-2004)


History of  WKKO

Mr. Davis E. Wilson tells about the beginnings of WKKO.
"Since I was the original chief engineer and co owner of WKKO, I thought I might bring you up to date a bit on the beginning of the station. Carl Collins and I were at WDLP in Panama City in 1951 when we decided to build a station in Cocoa (not Cocoa Beach). The station was actually located about three miles west of downtown Cocoa and about  2 miles south of SR 520. Carl and I  found that Emerson Browne (then at WTRR-AM 1400 in Sanford) had also applied to the FCC for a station in Cocoa, so rather than fight, we joined in a partnership as Brevard Broadcasting Company. We finally received our construction permit in the summer  of 1952. We had hoped to be on the air by Christmas, but didn't get our final OK from the FCC until after Christmas. Our first day on the air was Sunday, January 4, 1953. (I still think of that as the most hectic day of my life), Carl and I later bought Emerson's interest in the station and became the owners in 1954. Carl was General Manager and I was Chief Engineer. We were Cocoa's first radio station and Brevard County's second, after WMMB-AM 1240. We were a very small-time operation at first, with only five of us as full time personnel. We were daytime only, which was the way we wanted it. We started out at 250 watts, with an old 1935 Gates transmitter that had been used in Toccoa, Georgia. Around 1954 (we) decided to go to 1,000 watts. I designed the new transmitter (a modified version of the Collins kilowatt of the day), obtained FCC approval,  and built it to fit into the existing 250 watt transmitter rack. One night we removed the 250 watt chassis and replaced it with the 1000 watt chassis. For about ten years or so the station must have been one of the few in this country with a "home made" transmitter.


From Brian Douglas; "...This station was WCKS (using CK-101's former call letters) playing Top 40 in 1987.  By 1993, WWKO was an R&B station.  Alan Dickson was the GM through this time.  The Owner Contact was Keith Walker..." "...It became a Nostalgia station soon after, before going dark in a buyout (to enable WGUL, Dunedin [also on 860] to improve its coverage)."


From Will Standley;
"I am also the former owner of 860 AM, Cocoa, FL (original call letters WKKO). I bought it from Keith Walker (station) and Jane Maschmeier (real estate) and ultimately sold the station to WGUL- AM owner Carl Marcocci who ultimately turned it off so he could get better coverage WGUL 860 AM over Tampa/St Pete. (He applied for and received FCC permission to change his WGUL pattern subject to turning off 860 AM Cocoa.) When we acquired 860-AM Cocoa in Brevard County we changed the call letters to WRFB (Radio For Brevard.) Ray Kassis, owner of WWBC 1510 AM Cocoa ultimately bought the old 860 AM site, removed his old tower in the Indian River and re-tuned the old 860 AM tower for 1510. Then he was able to add one tower and go to 50kw day time."


                                                                 Photos courtesy of  Davis Wilson   
                                                           
 WKKO_Staff_1954.jpg (362668 bytes)
The staff of WKKO in December, 1954 
Left to right standing  are Bob Bruner, chief announcer and technician, Carl Collins, General Manager and co-owner, Davis Wilson Chief Engineer and co-owner, and Johnny Fox, salesman and announcer (and commercial photographer). 
Seated are Earline Hamilton, secretary, and Mercer Livermore, hostess of "Cocoa Chatter" a local talk show (not a call-in type of talk show - Mercer did all the talking).

click photos for full sized view
WKKO 1953.jpg (168928 bytes)

 Carl Collins outside the WKKO studios in 1953


WKKO Personalities

Mel Phillips-1960-Marvin Rothschild  Ownership


Jack Gale-1963-
Marvin Rothschild Ownership



"Little" Tommy Tyler-(Tom Melanson)-Program Director/Mornings-
Marvin Rothschild Ownership

Rosa Lee Jones-1965-1968-Host of "Open House"-Marvin Rothschild Ownership
In 1966, Mrs. Jones opened the first kindergarten for black children in Cocoa. It was the Rosebud Kindergarten and Child Care Center on Poinsett Drive. Mrs. Jones was a respected writer and an eloquent voice in Cocoa's African-American community, which because of segregation, remained racially and geographically separated from Cocoa's white community until the civil-rights era of the 1960s. 
In Memory

Jay Kuppers-1966-Marvin Rothschild Ownership


Fred King
-1967-1972-Mid Days (11AM-1:30PM)-
Marvin Rothschild Ownership    
Biography     In Memory       
 
  Fred King Nov. 23, 1967   

Melvin John Foley-1967-Mornings/PD who instituted the Drake format with short jingles and a much shorter play list-Marvin Rothschild Ownership 
Hal Martin-1967-Marvin Rothschild Ownership
Bill Eckard-1968-1969-Mornings-Marvin Rothschild Ownership




Chris Morgan
(Christopher J. Mordenga)-1969-Marvin Rothschild Ownership In Memory
Mike Curtiss-1969-Marvin Rothschild Ownership
Johnny Knight-1969-1971-3:30-8:15PM-Marvin Rothschild Ownership/Cocoa One Inc. 
Dick Wilson-1969-1971-6:30AM-11AM-Cocoa One Inc.  
Simon T.-Weekends-Cocoa One Inc.



Lee Arnold 1971-1972-Cocoa One Inc. 


Dave Edwards-1973-1975-Cocoa One Inc.   Biography


Gabe Burton-1973-Cocoa One Inc.   Biography


Jim Day (Jim Burgan)-1973-1975-Evenings-Cocoa One Inc.
Tom Collins-1974-Program Director/Mid-days/Operations Manager-Cocoa One Inc. 


Dave Martin (Dave Edwards)-1974-1975
Biography
Terry Lee (Keith Wright)-1974-1976-Weekends/Mornings-Cocoa One Inc.  
Kris Kelly-1974-Afternoons-Cocoa One Inc.  
Beau Richards-1977-Mornings-Emcom Associates  


Susie Fennelli-1977-1978-Emcom Associates
Chip Taylor-1977-Afternoons/Music Director/Program Director-Emcom Associates  



Courtesy of Fred King



JJ McKay-1981-Emcom Associates   Biography



Bobby Knight-1984-1985-Program Director-Fox Radio Inc.
Chris Morgan-1985-Fox Radio Inc.
Chrissy Dimona-1985-Fox Radio Inc.


Terry Dollar-1985
-Fox Radio Inc.
In Memory
Scott Stover-1985-Fox Radio Inc.   Biography 


Sal Tee (Salvatore Taglireno)-1993-"Solid Gold Reunion"-Saturdays11AM-1PM-Brevard Broadcasting, Inc. 
"Frantic" Frank Lynn-4PM
Bob Bruner
Johnny Fox


Mercer Livermore-Hostess of "Cocoa Chatter"   
Biography    In Memory


Mike Green (Paul Delaney)  
Biography 

Bob Wooten WKKO.jpg (151821 bytes)

Frank Wooten-News and sports director



Michael W. Lowe
Biography  
Tom Robinson
Clark Ray
Simon T (Simon Tiloumos)
Mike Green
Gary Henderson
David Allen Kaufman



Michelle Murillo-News Director
Bill Baker
Steve Mack
Long John Silver
Johnny T

Rick Ryder-Program Director                                                                                            

Peter David Kaufman (now an Editor at The Washington Post

Lillian Eiland  In Memory

Paul Gardner

Gary Sherman

Bob Clayton

Norts_La_Scene-Cocoa_Beach.jpg (10375 bytes)

From Fred King; "...Nort's La Scene was...extremely popular..." "...(it) was located one block from the beach at the end of the 520 causeway. It was straight out of (the movie) Saturday Night Fever, with the flashing colorized dance floor, strobes, movies on the wall and deafening discotheque (music)..." "...(WK)KO (DJs) handled the music there. 

From Fred King; The WKKO "... jocks would pick up some extra cash by handling the music here. The owner of The Red Door, Johnny Esposito, was very close friends with one of the (WK)KO owners and we promoted...that club. Everyone knew about that club at that time. The building located along the Merritt Island causeway, no longer exists."

Johhnys_Red_Door_Cocoa_Beach.jpg (16802 bytes)


Other Names in WKKO History

Davis E. Wilson-1953-Partner/Chief Engineer-Brevard Broadcasting Company



Carl G. Collins, Jr.
-1953-Partner/General Manager-Brevard Broadcasting Company
In Memory

Emerson Browne-1953-1954-Partner-Brevard Broadcasting Company

Marvin Rothschild-1959-Owner

Theodore Eiland-1970-President/General Manager-Cocoa One Inc. In Memory

Bill Maschmeier-1970-Owner

Keith Walker-1992-Owner-Walker Broadcasting

Alan Dickson-1992-General Manager-Walker Broadcasting

Will Standley-1993-Owner/Operator-Brevard Broadcasting, Inc.

Carl Marcocci-1998-Owner-WGUL FM, Inc.

Stephen Schurdell-1998-President-WGUL FM, Inc. 

Lowell Fenner, Jr.

Earline Hamilton-Secretary

Ron Schrader-Engineer

Bob Norris-General Manager



Jay Waggoner-Engineer
In Memory

Glenn Przyborski


WKKO_control_room.jpg (1343589 bytes)
A view of the WKKO studio  courtesy of Jay Waggoner


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